Pigmentation of ancient Northern Europeans

Below are predicted skin, hair, and eye color for new genomes from ancient Northern Europe.

Sample Country Culture Date BC Skin Hair Eyes
Spiginas 4 Lithuania Kunda 6440–6230 Medium Black Blue
Motala AA Sweden Mesolithic 5722–5564 NA NA Blue
Veibri 4 Estonia Narva 4900–4720 NA D-brown/ Black Brown
Kivisaare 3 Estonia Narva 4730–4540 NA NA Blue
Donkalnis 7 Lithuania Narva 5460–4940 NA Brown/ D-brown Blue
Donkalnis 6 Lithuania Narva 4720–4530 Light Black Blue
Kretuonas 5 Lithuania Narva 4450–4340 NA NA Blue
Spiginas 1 Lithuania Narva 4440–4240 Medium Brown Blue
Kretuonas 2 Lithuania Narva 5500–2900 Light Blond/ D-blond Blue
Kretuonas 4 Lithuania Narva 5500–2900 Light D-brown/ Black Blue
Kretuonas 1 Lithuania Narva 4460–3820 Light Black NA
Saxtorp 5164 Sweden Funnelbeaker 3945–3647 NA D-brown/ Black NA
Saxtorp 389 Sweden Funnelbeaker 4000–3300 Light NA NA
Saxtorp 5158 Sweden Funnelbeaker 3625–3371 NA Blond/ D-blond Blue
Tamula 1 Estonia Comb Ware 3630–3360 Medium NA Blue
Plinkaigalis 242 Lithuania Corded Ware 3260–2630 Light Black Brown
Gyvakarai 1 Lithuania Corded Ware 2620–2470 Light D-blond/ Brown Blue
Spiginas 2 Lithuania Corded Ware 2130–1750 NA Red Blue
Kunila 2 Estonia Corded Ware 2580–2340 Medium Black Brown
Turlojiškė 5 Lithuania Bronze Age 2100–600 NA NA Blue
Turlojiškė 1932 Lithuania Bronze Age 1230–920 NA NA Blue
Turlojiškė 3 Lithuania Bronze Age 1010–800 NA Blond Blue
Kivutkalns 42 Latvia Late Bronze Age 810–560 NA D-brown/ Black Brown
Kivutkalns 153 Latvia Late Bronze Age 800–545 NA Blond/ D-blond Blue
Kivutkalns 25 Latvia Late Bronze Age 800–545 Light D-brown/ Black Blue
Kivutkalns 207 Latvia Late Bronze Age 790–535 Light D-brown/ Black Blue
Kivutkalns 209 Latvia Late Bronze Age 805–515 Light Red Blue
Kivutkalns 215 Latvia Late Bronze Age 760–425 Light D-blond/ Brown Blue
Kivutkalns 222 Latvia Late Bronze Age 745–400 Light D-blond/ Brown Blue
Kivutkalns 19 Latvia Late Bronze Age 730–400 Light D-blond/ Brown Brown
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2 comments on “Pigmentation of ancient Northern Europeans
  1. sammy says:

    You sure Spiginas 2 had red hair? He had a low derived allele count in rs1805007 and res1805008. Maybe you can check nearby SNPs to see if the derived alleles are legitmate.

    • Genetiker says:

      The vast majority of the predictions for the ancient samples are correct, but a small percentage of them are incorrect, due either to a small amount of data for a sample, or to DNA damage.

      rs1805007 is a transition SNP (as opposed to a transversion SNP, which are unaffected by DNA damage), and the two derived alleles for Spiginas 2 are both two bases away from the end bases of their reads. (The closer a transition SNP is to the end of a read, the more likely it is to be affected by DNA damage.)

      rs1805008 is also a transition SNP, and one of the two derived alleles for Spiginas 2 is at the very end of its read. The other derived allele, however, is in the middle of its read.

      The heterozygous genotype calls for those two SNPs for Spiginas 2 are probably both incorrect, so the prediction that he had red hair is therefore probably also incorrect.

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